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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Feb 26, 2009 9:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I'm sure this has kicked around here before - but I missed it so here goes. I was talking with my son's girlfriend the other evening. We got to talking about msic and inevitably I steered it to the Dead. She had heard of them - her mother is a huge fan - but apparently had never been exposed to it growing up. Not surprisingly, she couldn't name one song.

So off we went to play some tunes - we covered '66-'68 , '70s '76, '77, '81, '94, and pretty much everything in between.

At some point in the mid-late '80s, Kelly looks at me and says - they don't even sound like the same band.

So I got to thinking - how would you break down the years from '66-'95? I don't think it's as clean as each keys player although that is the obvious beginning/end of an 'era'.

My curiosity is now piqued - appreciate any thoughts and feedback on this one.

Thank in advance.

Mando

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Poster: BongWzrd Date: Feb 26, 2009 10:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

1965-70 Primal Dead
1971-1972 Beginings of Dead Jazz
1973-1974 True Grateful Dead
1975 Hiatus Time (BLUES FOR ALLAH ROCKS!!!)
1976 Mellow Dead
1977 As close to a "Complete Band" as it got
1978 Smack-Smack-Smack (After 02-05-78 it was never the same)
1979-81 Dead Reborn (Jerry still can catch fire)
1982-85 Jerry's Decline
1986-88 Rough and Rugged Dead (Still a fine band, Brent starting to rip)
1989-90 Brent's final voyage
1990-91 BRUCE!!!!!!
1992-95 End of Days (Still some nice spots)

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Poster: Morning Dewd Date: Feb 26, 2009 11:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I have to disagree with lumping 65-70 all together.
The sound went through so many changes during that time.
WT's breakdown of those years is more accurate.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 12:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Yeah, I know folks can have fun with me being so obsessed, just as I can for wondering why they don't insist on the high energy early era with all its warts, etc., etc.

But, I will say that even if you don't care for it, and prefer the more refined sophisticated quality musicianship of the 70s, eg, it is much harder to make distinctions between even multiple yr periods.

In 65-71 just looking at personnel changes, and the add't of Hunter (which is HUGE IMHO), you get really different band sounds over very short time frames. Many of these aspects are "constants" during latter periods...

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Feb 26, 2009 12:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

64-65 Jug band era
65-66 Acid Test band
67 Original material starts being integrated
Late 67 through 68 The experimental years, especially with rhythms, when odd time signatures came in due to Mickey Hart and a two drummer line up. Dawn of the Golden Era.
69-75 The performance years. The Golden Years. Song oriented band. Perfecting the jams. Golden era of song-craft.
76-78 Beginning of "modern-era", The end of the beginning. Beginning of the "heroin years" The beginning of the end.
79-95 Stagnation and decline. The end.

"What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?
She lost her sparkle you know. She isn't the same.
Living on reds, vitamin c and cocaine.
All her friends can say is 'ain't it a shame'."

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2009-02-26 20:46:36

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Poster: suasponte173 Date: Feb 26, 2009 12:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I see a lot of weird ideas, such as 72 was Dead Dead, and 79 was stagnant? Yeah, they introduced a new keyboardist and his dynamic sound range, but somehow managed to stagnate?
64-65? How about the who cares era? Or the, for the completists only era?
Death & Mercy, you really believe that 90 was worse than 89? Or did you just get bored?
Since I have seen criticism without input gets people up at arms here:
65-67 surfer CA dead
68-70 lysergic dead
72-74 the pinnacle
75 experiment dead
76-78 Everyone but Keith is getting better, even Donna
79-81 the first renaissance
82-84 cocaine tempo dead
85-86 effects start taking effect
87 let's relearn how to play the guitar
88 now let's add some more effects
89-91 The second renaissance
92 Bruce, please don't go
93 The last blip
94-95 the bitter drive off the cliff

suasponte

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 3:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Anyone that doesn't see a huge change with AmBeauty/Work, in 70, just isn't listening.

Seriously.

Sorry to be harsh, but it's the truth. There were more changes between 65-71 than in any of the remainder.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Feb 26, 2009 3:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

'65-66: Inception
'67: Acceleration
'68: Exploration
'69: Saturation
'70: Acclimation
'71: Deceleration
'72: Precision
'73: Expansion
'74: Perfection
'75: Hibernation
'76: Marination
'77: Satiation
'78 & beyond: De-gravitation (slowly but surely)

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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Feb 26, 2009 4:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Very nice take! Especially Marination..... 76 indeed marinates, seeps, drips, slow cooks, stews.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Feb 26, 2009 7:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

...and that's why we like it! :)

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 26, 2009 3:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Hey, Tell!

Didn't I say just that? Maybe you weren't responding directly to my post..."new horizons" was my point, and I agree about '70 as a huge turning point

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 4:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Sorry! Meant the other guy! I thought you were right on...

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Feb 26, 2009 1:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I say stagnation began in 1979 because after the birth of "The Rhythm Devils" concept in 1978 or so, nothing really "new" happens much after 1978. Sure, they released the lack-luster "Go To Heaven" after Brent joined, (and In The Dark and Built Too Fast, er Built To Last too,) but the material was stale and stagnant and the band never seemed to grow. By 1978 the "first set, second set" division of song cycles was firmly intact, in effect building a prison for themselves musically. It made for some great shows, but snuffed out a lot of the spontaneity by setting such a rigid musical blueprint for themselves. Sure, there were some fine shows played post-78, but I stand by my opinion on this. Everyone here has a different opinion I'm sure. That's why we share ideas, to get a different perspective.

As far as 64-65 being "who cares" I thought we were discussing the band and certain eras. This is the pre-electric jug band era, the seed of the whole long strange trip. There are recordings from these years. No more of a "weird idea" than referring to 65-67 as "surfer CA dead". Funny, I can't recall the Dead doing any "surf music". Jerry don't surf.

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2009-02-26 21:57:02

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Feb 26, 2009 2:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Actually Dawg, the dead briefly visited surf music, but thankfully it was short lived...

http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-09-07.sbd.dfinney.5808.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 9:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I agree with you SD, but just to note, I heard them do half of "little surfer girl" when they played with some incarnation of the BBoys in the 70s some where...at least I am convinced I did...

Hmmm, anyone know? It might have just been a few of the guys as they warmed up after coming on after the BBoys?

Maybe I imagined it...

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Feb 27, 2009 1:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Hey, I actually like the Beach Boys, and between my brother and me we had every album they ever did when I was growing up in the sixties and if you've never heard the set the Dead with them at Fillmore East on 4/27/71 I highly recommend it, especially Searchin' and Riot In Cell Block #9. I would love to see a photo of Pigpen fronting the Beach Boys on "Searchin'"!
That said, I said it before and I'll say it again: Jerry don't surf!

Check out the Beach Boys & The Grateful Dead at Fillmore East here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLHc08wHyAA

A somewhat "Dead related fact" concerning the Beach Boys is in order here... Brian Wilson in an interview revealed that he wrote "California Girls" on Purple Owsley acid during his first acid trip in 1965.

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2009-02-27 09:02:02

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Feb 27, 2009 8:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

The instrumental intro to "California Girls" is so beautiful, I'm not surprised to hear that factoid...

UPDATE: I'm listening to 2/28/69 and right before "King Bee" there is a Tuning/Wipe Out bit... then Jerry says: "Hey, wait a minute..I came to see some PSYCHEDELIC music."



This post was modified by Styrofoam Cueball on 2009-02-28 04:55:36

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Feb 27, 2009 10:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

If you ever have the chance to see the DVD relesase of Brian Wilson's "SMILE!" there is an interview with Brian and friends of his from that time period. This is where I heard Brian discussing the effects LSD had on him and where it is revealed that on his first acid trip (Purple Owsley's)he set out writing the words & music to "California Girls" He claimed that the music, the intro you mentioned, appeared to him as musical notes dancing about like in Walt Disney's "Fantasia". He hallucinated the music and set it down on paper later.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Feb 27, 2009 10:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I always wish that part of the song went on longer. And if BW was dosed for "California Girls," the conditions under which he and V.D. Parks wrote the SMILE material must have been truly 'altered'...

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Feb 28, 2009 1:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

They were altered enough for BW to suffer a major freakout he never fully recovered from. SMILE! would be left unfinished until 37 years later.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 26, 2009 1:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

1965-66: Jug/Garage band with promise

1967-1969: Pioneers of 'acid rock'...energetic, inventive, psychedelic splendor but rough around the edges.

1970-71: New horizons, a move away from psychedelia and back to folk and country roots Garcia came from...song-writing skills emerge in full flower with "Workingman's" and "American Beauty"...

1972: A stand alone year that must be recognized as one of the band's greatest. A band capable now of mastering everything from blues to rock to country. Jams grow in length and sophistication. Vocals strong throughout. Songwriting also flourishes.

1973-1974: Jazzy dead, for good and ill. Some wonderful explorations ("Eyes", "Let it Grow", "China>Rider") along with some self-indulgent meanderings (too-long "Dark Stars" and "Other Ones" that break down into cacaphonous noise-making).

1975: A break needed. The few shows played show the great promise to come.

1976: Slow, languorous, jazzy, mellow, inventive re-birth. band feeling its way along to get its groove back. Willing to mix it up set-list-wise.

1977: The pinnacle. A fluid, confident, jamming, tight, sweet-sounding rock band that can do it all, and does. Band members are "just exactly perfect" having been at it for about ten years. They're not too old, not too young. Voices sound wonderful (caveat: Donna, but you could say the same about any year since she came on the scene). Band listens to each other more than ever before and the results are stunning. Old songs given extra jamming length (1/2 step, jack straw, bertha, and more)...new songs from Terrapin are introduced. Band produces its greatest single consistently excellent month of shows in May. 5/8/77 still mentioned--and debated--as possibly the greatest show ever. Give me a Dead Time Machine and I'll take that year over any other.

1978-1979 (pre-Brent): Same as '77 but with a harder edge of rock and roll, and also with some clunkers of sloppiness. Signs of wear and tear showing here and there amid some great performances.

1979 (Brent)- 1983: The rest of the band's vocals start to decline, but offset by the ecellent harmonic upgrade of Brent. He also brings a new, more 'accessible" sound on keys. Sloppiness here and there but mostly excellent shows marked by a renewed sense of purpose to continue the journey.

1984-1988: A band in decline, with an aging and ailing leader. Sloppy more often than not. Forgotten lyrics, choppy jams, lack of coherence. And yes, some grand gems pulled out on certain nights. (See 10/12/84. Greek Theater '84, and the other usual suspects).

1989-90: Last of the greatness. Vocals are gone but new attention to musicianship emerges, exemplified by guest appearnces of Branford in '90.

1991-95: If you saw a good show in these years you were lucky. your best shot was '91. After that, just a sad story.

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Poster: barongsong Date: Feb 27, 2009 9:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Very cool topic and love all the interpretations some more accurate than others but all hitting on something. What's missing though is the big picture which in my view is the Grateful Dead Era which ended in 95 never to be replaced. Wish I could have seen it start to finish but damn glad to have grabbed some of the magic while I could and wouldn't trade it for the world. In that fact I think we can agree we are all truly blessed.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Feb 27, 2009 9:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Nicely played barong.

To all - many thanks for the responses, opinions, insights.

FWIW - My breakout was/is as follows:

'65-'66: Raw and not quite ripe, garage blues/rock
'67-'early '68: Defined and refined blues/rock, hints of antsiness to break out even more.
'68-'69: The chemically induced exploratory years - first days on the new trail - safe in the comfort of an old pair of jeans, but confident enough to lean out every now and then.
'70-'71: The Cowboy Bob years (or a bad time to be a drummer)
'72: Gold Medal
'73-'74: Fully mature, starting to get pulled in various directions - some good, some bad, all influential
'75: The year of introspection or the Big Sleep
'76: Back into the pool everyone
'77-'78: Like a train, rollin' down the track. High profile station stops along the way, mostly in '77
'79: A year in transition
'80-'91: The Lost Years (personally)
'91-'92: Flashes of "what once was"
'93-'94: The years of the slow train wreck (12/19/94 notwithstanding - last of the four shows I saw from '91 on)
'95: Bow your heads in reverence

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 27, 2009 10:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I knew I liked you (and it wasn't just the sub stuff). Noticed we carve up the early era similarly...

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Feb 27, 2009 10:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

WT -

Although I saw the vast majority of my shows from '76- Spring '79, I spend most of my listening time with '68 to '74 - dominated by anything '68, the early '69 shows with the scarce Mountains of the Moon and '72. Spring 77 will always be high on my list (that's when I got my licesnse and Mom and Dad would let me drive to Capitol, Landover, Baltimore, and Philly to see shows - being a good student helped), as well as gems from the other periods (the acoustic work at the long Warfield run in the fall of '80 is stunning).

Interesting to see how others broke these years out. I'm still trying to venture into the Lost Years - nothing resonates yet - haven't given up though.

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Poster: jockeyhollow Date: Feb 27, 2009 12:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I thought I was the only one who refered to the "lost" years... In my job in the corporate world-no one seems to know what I'm talking about !!!

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Poster: jockeyhollow Date: Feb 27, 2009 12:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I thought I was the only one who refered to the "lost" years... In my job in the corporate world-no one seems to know what I'm talking about !!!

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Poster: jockeyhollow Date: Feb 27, 2009 12:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I thought I was the only one who refered to the "lost" years... In my job in the corporate world-no one seems to know what I'm talking about !!!

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Poster: deadmax Date: Feb 27, 2009 12:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I thought you were the only one who refered to the "lost" years...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 27, 2009 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can Max count?

Nope. There're three of him. They are the only ones.

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Poster: deadmax Date: Feb 27, 2009 3:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can Max count?

All of them?

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 27, 2009 1:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Very interesting that you're drawn to listen to the years when you didn't personally attend shows.

same for me. Majority of my shows were seen from '84-'89, (my very first show was 1/11/79--I caught ONE Donna/Keith show before they left!)...but I consider the years I saw most of my shows to be the band's weakest except for the horribleness of the late breakdown ending years...

The stuff I love most is '77-'79, when I was just a bit too young to be on the bus.

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Poster: Morning Dewd Date: Feb 27, 2009 2:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I rarely listen to the eras in which I saw shows.
I went to a whole lot between 83-95, but rarely listen beyond 74 now, and almost never beyond 81.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 10:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I would dredge up the old posts but that'll take too much effort...besides, Rob can find out where I changed things:

65-67: PUBERTY DEAD: dance hall, trying to find themselves, blues/pop/SF embryonic sound (GLightfoot? I love it...Midnight hour for HS kids? VLBlues at the close of 67? Unreal). Five man band.

68: ACID DEAD: primal/psych, full on SF sound (but just listen to the difference between Feb and Dec! Esp with respect to the importance of lyrics and Hunter). Five--six--four--seven man band.

69: ESOTERIC DEAD: live dead with attainment of transition to something more than early 68, primarily due to Hunter. Consistent 7 man band. [sure, can lump with 68 if you insist]

70-71: AMERICAN DEAD: country dead with continuation of 69 perfection (acoustic shows, AmBeat/Work, etc., etc.). Seven to six to five man band.

72: DEAD DEAD: Band calls it quits.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Feb 26, 2009 1:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

pretty good Tell except of course my disagreement with it ending in 72. Also,one of the ONLY things that struck me about that Almanack book that came out was describing 69 as Baraouque ( sp? )Dead. Also, I was going to call 70-71 cowboy Dead but I like Amercian Dead better

72 - pitch perfect prescision Dead, at least the Europe tour which I consider their best ever. Cowboy American folk meets Jazz

73-74 mammoth jazz wall of sound Dead.
75 - Rebuilding year with a foot in both worlds
76 - tenuous Dead evolving into the tight funky disco sound
77 - tight power, just exactly perfect
78 - sloppy loose having fun. beginning of Jerry's voice going down hill
79 - 81 beginning of the synthesizer era. LAST good years for Jerry's voice
82-86 Heroin years, also the final cementing of the two set set in stone drums/space never deviate certain songs out of their place in each setlist
87 mega stardom stadium explosion that was well deserved considering the bands powerful focused playing
88 - hit or miss
89-91 - last hurrah of consistancy and focus
92-95 each year more downhill than the other

With the exception of 73-74,79-81, 82-86, 87-91, 92-95, it's kind of hard to have their eras span more than a year. Amazing how drastically they changed from year to year.


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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 27, 2009 3:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

"...it's kind of hard to have their eras span more than a year. Amazing how drastically they changed from year to year."


JOTS--couldn't agree more. It's remarkable to me how each separate Dead year--for the most part--has its own identity.

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Poster: clashcity Date: Feb 27, 2009 6:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

What goes more to this point, I think, is the definitive difference between the end of 76 and then beginning with the Swing show in 77.

Completely 2 different bands. Of course the new material probably precipitated the change.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Feb 26, 2009 11:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

up to '77 = pre-Wilford Brimley. Everything past is full on Wilford Brimley.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

What was that huge moustache of his selling back then? Was it oatmeal? Oatmeal insurance? Medical supplies?

I can still picture that hairy thing drawing every bit of your visual attention...riveting.

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Poster: Morning Dewd Date: Feb 26, 2009 11:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Diabetes?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69ujLvxLi0M

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Poster: Uncle_John Date: Feb 27, 2009 9:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

This is great!

Two of my employees, having heard me play Dead all the time, asked me to put together a "Dead School" thing. So I set it up for us to work together for 2 hours every Friday afternoon. I gave them links for a show or 2 to listen to each week - "homework", and I've been putting together 2 hour playlists with a mixture of album cuts and live stuff. We listened to '73 today. Next week's homework is 6/18/74. Too much fun.

Here is the "syllabus" I put together for a 15 week semester of Dead:

62-66 Ain't it Crazy: Roots
From Harry Smith to Ken Kesey
(I played Cannon's Jug Stompers, Sonny Boy Williamson, Chuck Berry, Obray Ramsey, and some others. Then some of Garcia's pre-dead stuff. Some Mother McCree's, some Warlocks, and wrapped up with some '66 Dead.)

67-68 With Rainbow Colors Blended: Psychedelic Bombast
Youthful energy and enthusiasm (and LSD) fuel wild experimentation

69 Speeding Arrow, Sharp and Narrow : Becoming a Professional Touring Band
Refining the sound, the equipment, and the show

70 Come Hear Uncle John's Band: Psychedelic Folk
Back to their roots, but on their own terms

71 There's Gonna be a Party Tonight: The Rock & Roll Band
A lean, mean rocking machine

72 It All Rolls into One: Putting it all Together
Synthesizing their folk, blues, rock, and psychedelic sounds

73 No Particular Way but Our Own: Psychedelic Jazz
New levels of group improvisation

74 Listen to the Thunder Shout: The Wall of Sound
The ultimate sound system

75-76 The Music Never Stopped: Taking a Break and Starting Over
Catching their breath and reworking their repertoire

77 I Know I'm Gonna Shine: Polished and Precise
Tight and jamming

78-79 I'm Still Walking, So I'm Sure that I can Dance
Competent and professional

79-84 Moving With a Pinch of Grace: Flashy New Sound
Brent brings a new voice and vigor

85-90 Am I the Driver or the Driven: Going Through the Motions
Jerry declines, but The Family needs to be fed

90-95 Summer Flies and August Dies: The Last Gasp
Commercial success as they spiral out of control

If My Words Did Glow: Robert Hunter's Wonderfully Enigmatic Lyrics
The other essential band member
(I think I'll concentrate on Hunter's own versions, and covers by others.)

Later,
- John

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Poster: Death&Mercy Date: Feb 26, 2009 11:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

68 - psychedelic, somewhat jazzy Dead
69 - a f'ing locomotive
70 - vocal Dead emerges
71 - a very good rock band emerges
72 - brilliant Dead; it all comes together
73 - vocal Dead dies, jam band Dead takes over
74 - jam band gone awry
76 - goofy Dead
77 - goofy Dead with one brilliant musician
78 - scratchy Dead
79 - the locomotive returns, briefly
80 - Dead Set Dead: compact, effective, sometimes perfect
81 - Dead Set Dead starts to fade
82 - ragged Dead
83 - very ragged Dead
84, 85, 86 - just dead
87 - unbelievable resurgance in the spring
88 - solid
89 - solid till the fall, then it all comes unglued

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Poster: deadmax Date: Feb 26, 2009 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

You ALMOST have it right. Here Goes.

66 - 67 Cool Garage Band with a big following.

68 - 69 Acid Rock at it's best

70 - 71 American Dead says it all.

72 Indeed a stand alone year.

73 - 74 Yes it was big and indulgent and jazzy and beautiful.

76 Re-connecting with a lost friend

77 - 79(Pre Brent) Full on!

79 - 81 Getting in the groove with Brent with lots of tight fantastic music.

82 - 84 Settling in and hitting some off nights but very few "bad" nights

85 Mix up set lists, change the music, do SOMETHING!

86 Decline

87 - 89 Bright moments here and there. Synthy.

90 - 91 Bye Brent. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.

92 Shining moments punctuated with Don'tcaredness.

93 - 94 OMFG! These guys are old and tired!

95 Resurgence once again but too late

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 26, 2009 3:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

nicely surmised w/fewer words than i blurted out...

still, you fall just short by not putting '77 in a stand-alone class by itself ;-)

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Poster: deadmax Date: Feb 26, 2009 4:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I was going to but I stand by what I did. I think 78 and 79 are just extensions of 77 so they need to be appended to such year. Doesn't take anything away from 77 in my mind but I do see what you are sayin.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 4:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Hey GC and DM--don't take this the wrong way, but what I am asking is do you really see distinctions in the 70s era that I see (ie, roughly comparable levels) in the 60s? I trust you two to be ojective about it.

Of course, because of JOTS I try to avoid even talking about the 70s, but I suppose I could see a distinction for 72-73, then 74, but then I see 75-79 in roughly similar terms, esp having been there...But, this could very well be because of my biases...

Just wondering--do you see it because of your intense interest or because you think they made shifts...if that makes sense.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Feb 26, 2009 9:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

"Of course, because of JOTS I try to avoid even talking about the 70s, but I suppose I could see a distinction for 72-73, then 74, but then I see 75-79 in roughly similar terms, esp having been there...But, this could very well be because of my biases..."

Why me Tell? All I've ever wanted is to understand your they should have ceased to exist comments. I'm not going to argue about innovation or preference. What I get confused by is I have to believe you must have had a consistantly shitty time at Grateful Dead shows. Were they as great later? I think most of us objective fans say no regardless of when we saw shows ( or even for those who didn't ). I just have a hard time getting my head around thinking what it would be like to have a shitty time at every show I saw. FAR from that otherwise I don't think I'd be here. There's just too much to be said about the EXPERIENCE.

You saw 75 in Golden Gate Park if I recall. You saw that 75 Winterland show which you bring up so I know you have a fondness for. Do you regret going?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 27, 2009 6:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Hey J--for Gawd's sake I hope you know I am entirely joking when I say things like that...? I value your friendship (jeezzz that feels sorta weird...but it's true) hereabouts as much as anyone, I hope from the note above you don't think I actually have any problem with anything you've ever posted here with our exchanges. I for one feel we will always have the Jan night we GROKKED the PATS to defeat and forever established ourselves on Dire's shitlist.

Anyhow, as to your question, to be honest, at the time I went, I really did enjoy myself, but there was a nagging sense that something was missing. I know you'll think this developed later, when I had changed, but at the time, the best way to describe it would be the kid that begs and begs for something, and then is slightly disappointed with the gift but won't dare tell anyone?

Another way to look at it would be that I never pick a DEAD show as "my best concert ever"...that ALWAYS surprises folks that know me--and I actually feel guilty about it.

But, I will say that I loved the two 75 shows more than any others--9-28 & 6-17, as much as anything for the folks I went with, setting, etc. And I defn don't regret spending the $2.50 between the two of them (it was $5 for the one, and nothing for the other).

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Poster: barongsong Date: Feb 27, 2009 10:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Hey WT I completely grok what you are saying here
"I really did enjoy myself, but there was a nagging sense that something was missing"
I too had that feeling while I was attending shows and often wished they would play something like they used to back in the 60's or 70's or anytime I hadn't seen them and it wasn't until somewhere in 89-90 I realized that that shit happened before and this is now and this is also very cool and relevant, so I better get all I can out of it while I I'm here. Unfortunately that realization didn't happen until near the end of my Gd experience but it sure made the waning years shows I saw more enjoyable.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Feb 27, 2009 8:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

right on Tell. I value our friendship here too. I thought I had said something to give you a complex because you singled me out.

I hear what you're saying, it's just for me it's hard because even seeing them when I did they were STILL the only ones that did what they did. Aside from jazz ( like BD mentioned awhile back ), there is no one that could do magical things like the GD. No one. I've seen some great performers but that's not magic. I love live experiences and with the exception of maybe two shows I saw, even a mediocre show beat sitting home watching TV. If I was lucky I had my mind blown, if not lucky the worst was a few moments of serious entertainment.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 27, 2009 3:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Mr. Tell...

I hear what you;re saying, and there's no arguing that a far bigger shift in sound/demeanor/overall band identity can be seen from the late 60's/early 70's to about the 1975 incarnation.

BUT....any close listening of the years between '75 and '79 reveals some very noticeable changes:

First, you have to start with the return of Mickey, meaning the band now has 2 drummers and an added percussion sound missing for much of the past 3-4 years...they're also working their way back from a nearly year-off hiatus, so I liken the '75-'76 period to a new car you want to take slow and steady on the road before you really open it up to see what it can do.

So in '76 you hear the band exploring some new material from Blues for Allah, but sort of feeling their way along as well...most of the shows that year are played at a slow pace...listen to a St. Stephen from '76 then compare it to any from a year later and you can hear a difference. Ditto for songs like H>S>F. They're a band getting their groove back to a large extent in '76, getting used to each other again, and then hitting a stride in '77 that--personally--I think is unparalleled in their history. Again, I think I've laid out ad nauseum the reasons for this and won't do so again...suffice it to say it was a "perfect storm" of excellence.

Then almost from the start of '78 you can hear a sense of "well, where do we take it from there"?...and the result is a harder rock sound effort that often yields powerhouse results but also gives up some tightness and fluidity and results in some sloppy efforts...this carries into '79, when you can hear the drop off of Keith's contributions, then the entrance of Brent...and it's hard to argue they didn't get a HUGE change in sound when that occurred...the acoustic piano sound yields to the Hammond B-3 organ sound and far better harmonies vocally than Donna ever could offer.

I still don't like the '79 sound nearly as much as '77-78, but it WAS a helluva change.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 27, 2009 6:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Hey GC--thanks for all that! I defn agree about the return of Mickey, and now that you mention it, I see exactly what you are getting at with 79, and some how I have always conflated that with the arrival of Brent. Thus, I probably lumped 77-79, and just naively viewed the change as Brent, if you follow.

I can see what you're getting at, and appreciate the articulation. As I said to Jots, I really do view this whole problem (me & 68) as exactly that (my problem)--and though I act as if you guys have the problem, that's just fun & games...

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 27, 2009 7:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Hey, let's face it, man...everyone who weighs in here, daily, on the Grateful Dead minutiae to the extent we do....we've ALL got a problem!

or, put another way:

"I can't believe I threw up in front of Dean Wormer."

"face it, Flounder....you threw up ON Dean Wormer."

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Feb 27, 2009 8:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

" Hey, let's face it, man...everyone who weighs in here, daily, on the Grateful Dead minutiae to the extent we do....we've ALL got a problem!"

great one grendel! Although it's a problem we all must enjoy ( even if out SO's don't ).

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 27, 2009 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

I'm working on the S.O. dilemma...unfortunately it's having more of a Beethoven-Clockwork-Orange-Reprogramming effect at the moment ;-)

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Poster: high flow Date: Feb 27, 2009 11:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

What problem? I don't have a problem. I can quit any time. I just don't want to.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 27, 2009 7:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Ah, just as the Germans wondered why they got blamed for bombing Pearl Harbor.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Feb 27, 2009 8:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

'Cause when the going gets tough . . . .

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Poster: deadmax Date: Feb 26, 2009 5:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Well, William, the reason I can hear distinctions is because I actually take the time to listen to the shows.

See if that works for you.

(insert snotty smilie here)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 26, 2009 8:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Smart ass. Last time I consider you objective.

Objectify this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Poster: patourkid Date: Feb 26, 2009 5:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Era(s)????

Great post!!!!! I have often tried to draw lines in my mind were one "Dead" starts and the other one finishes. Thank you all for taking the time to type it out!!!!

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